• Leadership Corpus Christi

  • Background

    Leadership Corpus Christi is a training program for emerging and existing leaders that builds the needed skills, knowledge, motivation, and vision to develop a stronger community.

    Established in 1972 by the Chamber of Commerce, the program is the third oldest community leadership program in the state. Over 1,200 graduates are having a powerful impact on virtually every community and business organization throughout Corpus Christi.


    The purpose of Leadership Corpus Christi is to advance positive, progressive, and orderly business and professional development in the Corpus Christi area by achieving the following:

    • Educate potential and existing business and community leaders through exposure to diverse realities, personalities, and challenges in the community.
    • Develop and enhance visionary leadership skills through in-depth training.



    The objectives of Leadership Corpus Christi include the following:

    1. Inform participants about Corpus Christi's history, government, economy, social issues, needs and opportunities, and the existing processes for dealing with them.

    2. Introduce participants to, and establish dialogue with, each other and current leaders of Corpus Christi.

    3. Encourage participants to participate in future activities, which contribute to the growth and betterment of the Corpus Christi community.

    4. Train participants to be visionary leaders and prepare them for higher level leadership roles in the community.


    Leadership Corpus Christi Seeks Individuals Who:

    1. Represent a cross section of the community including business, education, non-profit, government, arts, clergy, service and community organizations, and various ethnic/minority, age, and gender groups. The aim is to create a class of 30 that represents a “miniature Corpus Christi.”

    2. Have demonstrated leadership and sincere commitment, motivation, and interest to serve the greater Corpus Christi area;

    • With potential for advancement to leadership positions within their own organization which may result in significant influence over important issues facing the community;
    • With the commitment to complete the Leadership Corpus Christi program with the full support of the corporation or organization he/she represents.
    • With the intention, upon completion of the program, to seek roles on community boards, commissions, key volunteer leadership positions in the community, or public office.


    Program Sessions & Attendance

    Leadership Corpus Christi is a 10-month intensive training program. Class members have one official session per month beginning in August and lasting through May of the following year. Each regular session is generally held on the 2nd Thursday of the month, from 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., with the exception of the two overnights involving hotel stays (Opening Retreat in September, State-Federal Session in February).

    Other requirements include completion of homework assignments and extracurricular activities outside of the regular sessions.

    Program participants cannot miss more than 16 hours. Participants who arrive late or leave early on more than 3 occasions will also not be eligible to graduate from the program.


    Applicants must live or work in Corpus Christi, TX (the Coastal Bend). Persons who are, at the time of participant selection, publicly elected officials (except for precinct chairpersons) are not eligible. All other individuals are eligible. Married couples cannot participate in the same class. Prior non-acceptance does not affect future consideration for selection. Due to competitiveness of the program, many candidates selected for Leadership Corpus Christi apply multiple times before being selected.

    Selection Criteria

    The most important consideration in selection is identifying those individuals most able to utilize their leadership skills for the long-term benefit of the Corpus Christi community. The basic criteria for selection include the following:

    • Sincere commitment, motivation, and interest to serve the community.
    • Evidence of career or community achievement appropriate to age and experience.
    • Intention to seek public office, boards, commissions, or other similar servant leadership roles.
    • Potential or existing opportunity for advancement to top leadership positions within their own organization, which may in turn play a significant role in the community.
    • Occupational and/or personal commitment and desire to remain in Corpus Christi.

    The most important consideration in selection is identifying those individuals most apt to utilize their leadership skills for the long-term benefit of the Corpus Christi community.

    Selection Committee & Selection Process

    Participants will be selected by an anonymous selection committee.  The committee is designed to be a representative cross section of the Corpus Christi community. To maintain objectivity and prevent outside influence, the committee remain anonymous.

    The selection committee is charged with forming a class that represents a reasonable cross section of the backgrounds, interests, and business and civic ties of the Corpus Christi community. Generally, the class profile reflects a primary orientation towards business, and a secondary orientation towards nonprofit organizations.

    Each member of the selection committee individually reviews and scores each application using a uniform rating system. To maximize objectivity, the first page of the personal data is omitted from this phase of the selection process. Selection Committee members do not see or know the names or personal data of applicants when scoring responses. The final selection of participants is made in full committee with all data available and the goals of the Leadership Corpus Christi program considered. Approximately thirty participants will be selected to participate in the Leadership Corpus Christi Class.

    Participants will be notified of their selection no later than July 1st. Many qualified candidates will not be chosen due to class size restrictions. We strongly encourage applicants to apply again in subsequent years if they are not selected.


    Leadership Corpus Christi is offered to selected participants for a fee (tuition), which includes all ten program sessions, materials, snacks, meals, and overnight accommodations during retreats. 
    Tuition is $1,500. True cost per participant is $2,500 per person. The remainder of the program cost is funded by generous sponsors and donations.  Tuition can be paid by the participant or by the participant’s employer.

    Tuition payments may be made by check, money order, credit card and installment payments. Tuition is due at the start of the program by August 1st unless installment payment arrangements are made with the Chamber Foundation. 


    Financial assistance is based on need and class composition. Since scholarship funds are limited, each participant will be asked to contribute a portion of the tuition. Scholarship requests must be made in writing to the Chamber Foundation prior to August 1st.

    For more information, contact United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce Foundation

    Esther Pokladnik, at (361) 371.4483 or esther@unitedcorpuschristi.org